Medical/Health Care

Experts want new models to address infrastructure deficit

Experts in Corporate Governance want the Lagos State Government to adopt 21stcentury models that will help in addressing the current infrastructure deficit.

Some of the solutions proffered include an integrated system of land and tax administration, synchronization of identity management and land registry as well as the block chain system.

The experts spoke at the 2017 edition of the Lagos State Government Infrastructure Roundtable in conjunction with Harvard Business School Association of Nigeria.

The Keynote Speaker, Professor John Macomber, challenged the government to be proactive by ensuring transparency in all forms and deal with obstacles to infrastructure.

Professor Macomber also advised the Lagos State Government to take cues from other climes where federating states were looking away from the Federal Government in the area of development.

The Harvard Business School's Senior Lecturer then pointed out the need for the right technology such as drones for transportation as well as execution of projects based on priority.

On his part, Dr Andrew Nevin from the Pricewater House Coopers, stated that government must harmonise its land registry with the tax system in order to generate funds for development.

According to Dr Nevin, putting the Bank Verification Numbers (BVN) and the identity management system together will address the woeful tax collection situation.

Other discussants such as Dr Demola Sogunle and Mr Abiodun Aina spoke in unison on the idea of a block chain strategy, which has been described as an incorruptible digital ledger of economic transactions that could be programmed to record financial transactions and everything of value.

Dr Sogunle, who is the Chief Executive of Stanbic IBTC Bank, called on government to take advantage of the massive financial technology (Fintech) adopted by banks so as to help government machinery.

Massive infrastructure

Governor Akinwunmi Ambode highlighted the areas where Lagos State required massive infrastructure to include roads, rail, electricity generation and public water system.

Let me give you a few statistics, the population of Lagos State today is estimated at 24 million people and still counting. The population of Lagos today is equal to that of 30 African countries put together.

By 2050, Lagos is on track to be a city of 36million people or the 6th largest city in the world after Mumbai, Delhi, Dhaka, Kinshasa, and Kolkata and ahead of Tokyo, Karachi, New York, and Mexico City; we have a migration rate of 86 people moving into Lagos every hour, higher than New York, London or Mumbai.

We have a population density of 6,939 persons per Kilometre and an average of 5 persons per household; with all these comes challenges and pressures on the physical and social infrastructure. As at 2010, our State was facing an infrastructure deficit of $50 billion, without the inclusion of housing and education, in 2017, we can all imagine what this deficit will be, he said.

Governor Ambode noted that the state required nothing less than one million housing units every year for the next five to ten years to fix its housing deficit, saying that as at 2015, the state had 16,000 kilometres in its network of roads but with a daily human traffic of over 7.5 million people and 2.8 million cars.

He told the gathering that government in its usual approach would continue to adopt a long-term view on infrastructure development and economic independence through innovative solutions.

Source: Voice of Nigeria